John Crotts
Shepherd Press, 138 Pages, Paper, $13.95

“Satan has taken over the local churches.” “Churches are irrelevant, at best.” “Churches today are nothing but victims of false doctrines, the emerging church craze, and immoral leaders.” With these types of views concerning the local church (and some of these observations are sadly true), it is always refreshing to come across books that haven’t abandoned the institution that the Lord commissioned to do His work.

Loving the Church beckons believers to God’s family, where they ought to be able to grow in God’s grace. One pastor writes on the back cover, “Recovering and reaffirming the centrality of the church in God’s redemptive plan has never been more urgent than it is today,” noting that believers must “renew our understanding of the church biblically and . . . demonstrate faithfulness to her.” Two basic parts make up the book: The first, “What Is God’s Family?” defines, describes, and shows the value of the local church. The second, “How You Fit into God’s Family,” focuses on a believer’s personal connection and involvement with the local church.

Each chapter begins and ends with the characters’ dialogue over coffee as the they discuss certain issues. A pastor might make good use of the book in introducing the Biblical concept of the church to new Christians and in reviewing the church with people who need to understand or recall just what the local assembly of believers should be about.